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Debating lab monkey retirement, and visiting a near-Earth asteroid

Science Podcast
Bennu with podcast symbol overlay
NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/Lockheed Martin

After their life as research subjects, what happens to lab monkeys? Some are euthanized to complete the research, others switch to new research projects, and some retire from lab life. Should they retire in place—in the same lab under the care of the same custodians—or should they be sent to retirement home–like sanctuaries? Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss recently penned legislation that pushes for monkey retirements and a new collaboration between universities and sanctuaries to create a retirement pipeline for these primates.

Sarah also talks with Dante Lauretta, principal investigator for NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) and a professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson, about the latest news from the asteroid Bennu. Within 1 week of beginning its orbit of the asteroid, OSIRIS-REx was able to send back surprising images of the asteroid ejecting material. It’s extremely rocky surface also took researchers by surprise and forced a recalculation of the sample return portion of the craft’s mission.

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

Ads on this week’s show: McDonalds; Parcast’s Natural Disasters podcast; KiwiCo

Download the transcript (PDF).

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[Image: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/Lockheed Martin; Music: Jeffrey Cook]